Future Cube, a new innovation centre designed to support and cultivate London’s innovative manufacturing, logistics and construction businesses, has opened in the heart of the Thames Gateway.
Located in Rainham, perfectly situated on the border of London and the wider southeast, Future Cube will be home to a range of demonstrators and tools that will help businesses to explore and adopt new technologies and improve their efficiency, productivity and competitiveness in an exciting and engaging way.
The Future Cube facility is the result of a partnership between Havering Council, SEGRO, the London Riverside Business Improvement District (BID), and the Greater London Authority with the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) selected as the lead delivery partner on-site.
MTC’s specialists and expert guidance will help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) address the practical, technical and strategic challenges that are critical to helping them to build long-term resilience and viability.
The team at Future Cube has extensive experience and sector knowledge, as well as access to Innovate UK’s REACH SME grant scheme, which can provide up to 50 per cent of funding for innovation projects.
The facility was formally opened by Deputy Mayor Jules Pipe CBE in a special ceremony. He was joined by the Leader of Havering Council, Councillor Damian White, and representatives from the Riverside BID, and SEGRO.
Deputy Mayor Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe CBE said: “Future Cube is a great space for local businesses to discover the transformative effect of embracing new technologies and digital capabilities.”
“By coming together, these organisations are opening up future-proofing opportunities that are desperately needed to ensure competitiveness, resilience and long-term viability in a rapidly evolving economy.”
MTC chief executive Dr Clive Hickman said, “We are excited to start working with businesses in Greater London and the Thames Gateway. The region has a history of innovation and entrepreneurship and Future Cube is the perfect partner to help those businesses flourish through the introduction of new skills and increased productivity which will stimulate growth.
“We have successfully operated an MTC facility in Liverpool for a number of years, to the benefit of industry in the North West. We are looking to replicate that success here, working with regional stakeholders to help businesses in Greater London and Thames Gateway region stay competitive, improve product development and processes, and benefit from new technologies, taking academic research and translating it into innovative solutions for industry.”
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said, “Supporting and championing local businesses to reach new heights has always been a priority for Havering Council, so we are incredibly proud to be a lead partner in such an exciting and innovative project.
“Our unique location right on the border of Essex and London, with great transport links to and from the city, makes Rainham such a brilliant place for a wide variety of businesses. It’s important we put facilities like Future Cube in place to help those businesses to strengthen and grow in this ever-changing world.”
Bonnie Minshull, Director, Greater London, SEGRO, said, “SMEs are a critical part of the UK economy, including east London. However, they don’t always have easy access to the digital and technology resources that could improve their productivity and profitability.
“Future Cube has the potential to change this, and we are pleased to provide the space for the centre as part of our RESPONSIBLE SEGRO commitment to support sustainable local economies and improve skills and employment opportunities within the communities where we operate.”
Eric Mollison, Chairman, London Riverside BID, said, “Future Cube is important for our members. Its location in the London Riverside BID area, the largest industrial Business Improvement District in London, matters because we need to do more to support the industrial sector and to raise productivity levels. This initiative will give business owners the tools to evaluate rigorously their options when it comes to innovation, and the confidence to invest for growth, and that will translate into UK competitiveness.”
Pictured: The Future Cube opening ceremony (left to right): Bonnie Minshull director, Greater London, SEGRO; Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council; Jules Pipe CBE, Deputy Mayor, Planning, Regeneration and Skills, and Neil Rawlinson, strategic director, MTC, with Spot the Robotic Dog.